I wanted to post this last month to coincide with the date of the report, but got too busy and forgot about it.
Twenty-seven years ago this week Bill Blitzer, a scout for the Chicago Cubs, who covered for the northeast portion of the country, reported back to his bosses about a young Pennsylvanian right-hander named Mike Mussina. Below you will find a copy of his scouting report dated April 10, 1987.
Some interesting notes: The summary of the report is amusing because it’s an example of burying the lead. The relevance of the entire report is to put down by the scouts perception that Mussina is unsignable (underlined twice) because he will not accept less than $250,000. The report leaves it open ended if the scout actually discussed dollar figures with Mussina’s father. Which got me wondering–would doing so have been an NCAA violation in 1987 since Mussina had already committed to Stanford?
It’s a bit shocking to see that Mussina’s control was rated so low (well below average–according to the scout), but also amusing to see he was throwing a knuckleball at age 18. Mussina’s time at Stanford and in the minors obviously did him well when it came to becoming a control pitcher. According to the scouting report, Mussina appeared to fall off the mound towards first and put himself in a poor fielding position. He must be commended for working hard enough to not only fix that issue, but become one of the best fielding pitchers of his generation.
Mussina wore #35 in high school. He was a switch-hitter, too.
If you want to compare Mike Mussina’s career to Bob Welch you can go here.
You can read more about Blitzer at baseball-reference.